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Updated: July 2017

zshzftpsys (1)


zshzftpsys - end


Please see following description for synopsis


ZSHZFTPSYS(1)               General Commands Manual              ZSHZFTPSYS(1)

       zshzftpsys - zftp function front-end

       This describes the set of shell functions supplied with the source dis-
       tribution as an interface to the zftp builtin command, allowing you  to
       perform  FTP operations from the shell command line or within functions
       or scripts.  The interface is similar to a traditional FTP client (e.g.
       the  ftp command itself, see ftp(1)), but as it is entirely done within
       the shell all the familiar completion, editing and  globbing  features,
       and  so on, are present, and macros are particularly simple to write as
       they are just ordinary shell functions.

       The prerequisite is that the zftp  command,  as  described  in  zshmod-
       ules(1)  ,  must  be  available in the version of zsh installed at your
       site.  If the shell is configured to load new commands at run time,  it
       probably  is:  typing  `zmodload zsh/zftp' will make sure (if that runs
       silently, it has worked).  If this is not the case, it is possible zftp
       was  linked  into the shell anyway: to test this, type `which zftp' and
       if zftp is available you will get the  message  `zftp:  shell  built-in

       Commands  given  directly with zftp builtin may be interspersed between
       the functions in this suite; in a few cases, using  zftp  directly  may
       cause  some  of  the  status  information stored in shell parameters to
       become invalid.  Note in particular the description  of  the  variables
       $ZFTP_TMOUT, $ZFTP_PREFS and $ZFTP_VERBOSE for zftp.

       You  should  make sure all the functions from the Functions/Zftp direc-
       tory of the source distribution are available; they all begin with  the
       two letters `zf'.  They may already have been installed on your system;
       otherwise, you will need to find them and  copy  them.   The  directory
       should  appear  as one of the elements of the $fpath array (this should
       already be the case if they were installed), and at least the  function
       zfinit  should  be  autoloaded; it will autoload the rest.  Finally, to
       initialize the use of the system you need to call the zfinit  function.
       The  following  code  in  your .zshrc will arrange for this; assume the
       functions are stored in the directory ~/myfns:

              fpath=(~/myfns $fpath)
              autoload -U zfinit

       Note that zfinit assumes you are using the zmodload method to load  the
       zftp  command.  If it is already built into the shell, change zfinit to
       zfinit -n.  It is helpful (though not essential) if the call to  zfinit
       appears  after  any  code to initialize the new completion system, else
       unnecessary compctl commands will be given.

       The sequence of operations in performing a file transfer is essentially
       the  same  as that in a standard FTP client.  Note that, due to a quirk
       of the shell's getopts builtin, for those functions that handle options
       you must use `--' rather than `-' to ensure the remaining arguments are
       treated literally (a single `-' is treated as an argument).

   Opening a connection
       zfparams [ host [ user [ password ... ] ] ]
              Set or show the parameters for a future  zfopen  with  no  argu-
              ments.   If  no  arguments are given, the current parameters are
              displayed (the password will be shown as a line  of  asterisks).
              If a host is given, and either the user or password is not, they
              will be prompted for; also, any parameter given as `?'  will  be
              prompted  for, and if the `?' is followed by a string, that will
              be used as the prompt.  As zfopen calls zfparams  to  store  the
              parameters, this usually need not be called directly.

              A  single  argument `-' will delete the stored parameters.  This
              will also cause the memory of the last directory (and so on)  on
              the other host to be deleted.

       zfopen [ -1 ] [ host [ user [ password [ account ] ] ] ]
              If  host  is present, open a connection to that host under user-
              name user with password password (and,  on  the  rare  occasions
              when  it is necessary, account account).  If a necessary parame-
              ter is missing or given as `?' it will be prompted for.  If host
              is not present, use a previously stored set of parameters.

              If  the  command  was successful, and the terminal is compatible
              with xterm or is sun-cmd, a summary will  appear  in  the  title
              bar,  giving the local host:directory and the remote host:direc-
              tory; this is handled  by  the  function  zftp_chpwd,  described

              Normally,  the  host,  user and password are internally recorded
              for later re-opening, either by a zfopen with no  arguments,  or
              automatically (see below).  With the option `-1', no information
              is stored.  Also, if an open command with arguments failed,  the
              parameters  will  not  be  retained (and any previous parameters
              will also be deleted).  A zfopen on its own,  or  a  zfopen  -1,
              never alters the stored parameters.

              Both zfopen and zfanon (but not zfparams) understand URLs of the
              form ftp://host/path... as meaning to connect to the host,  then
              change  directory  to  path  (which  must  be a directory, not a
              file).  The `ftp://' can be omitted; the trailing `/' is  enough
              to  trigger  recognition  of the path.  Note prefixes other than
              `ftp:' are not recognized, and that  all  characters  after  the
              first slash beyond host are significant in path.

       zfanon [ -1 ] host
              Open  a connection host for anonymous FTP.  The username used is
              `anonymous'.  The password (which will  be  reported  the  first
              time)  is  generated  as  user@host;  this is then stored in the
              shell parameter $EMAIL_ADDR which can alternatively be set manu-
              ally to a suitable string.

   Directory management
       zfcd [ dir ]
       zfcd -
       zfcd old new
              Change  the  current  directory  on  the remote server:  this is
              implemented to have many of the features of  the  shell  builtin

              In the first form with dir present, change to the directory dir.
              The command `zfcd ..' is treated specially, so is guaranteed  to
              work  on  non-UNIX  servers  (note this is handled internally by
              zftp).  If dir is omitted, has the effect of `zfcd ~'.

              The second form changes to the directory previously current.

              The third form attempts  to  change  the  current  directory  by
              replacing the first occurrence of the string old with the string
              new in the current directory.

              Note that in this command, and indeed anywhere a remote filename
              is  expected,  the string which on the local host corresponds to
              `~' is converted back to a `~' before being passed to the remote
              machine.   This  is  convenient  because of the way expansion is
              performed on the command line before  zfcd  receives  a  string.
              For  example,  suppose  the  command is `zfcd ~/foo'.  The shell
              will   expand   this   to   a   full   path   such   as    `zfcd
              /home/user2/pws/foo'.   At  this stage, zfcd recognises the ini-
              tial path as corresponding to `~' and will send the directory to
              the  remote  host  as ~/foo, so that the `~' will be expanded by
              the server to the correct remote host  directory.   Other  named
              directories of the form `~name' are not treated in this fashion.

       zfhere Change  directory  on the remote server to the one corresponding
              to the current local directory, with special handling of `~'  as
              in  zfcd.   For  example,  if  the  current  local  directory is
              ~/foo/bar, then zfhere performs the effect of `zfcd ~/foo/bar'.

       zfdir [ -rfd ] [ - ] [ dir-options ] [ dir ]
              Produce a long directory listing.  The arguments dir-options and
              dir are passed directly to the server and their effect is imple-
              mentation dependent, but specifying a particular  remote  direc-
              tory  dir  is  usually possible.  The output is passed through a
              pager given by the environment variable  $PAGER,  or  `more'  if
              that is not set.

              The directory is usually cached for re-use.  In fact, two caches
              are maintained.  One is for use when there is no dir-options  or
              dir,  i.e. a full listing of the current remote directory; it is
              flushed when the current remote directory changes.  The other is
              kept  for  repeated  use  of  zfdir with the same arguments; for
              example, repeated use of `zfdir /pub/gnu' will only require  the
              directory  to  be  retrieved  on the first call.  Alternatively,
              this cache can be re-viewed with the  -r  option.   As  relative
              directories  will  confuse  zfdir,  the -f option can be used to
              force the cache to be flushed before the  directory  is  listed.
              The  option  -d will delete both caches without showing a direc-
              tory listing; it will also delete the cache of file names in the
              current remote directory, if any.

       zfls [ ls-options ] [ dir ]
              List  files  on the remote server.  With no arguments, this will
              produce a simple list of  file  names  for  the  current  remote
              directory.  Any arguments are passed directly to the server.  No
              pager and no caching is used.

   Status commands
       zftype [ type ]
              With no arguments, show the type of data to be transferred, usu-
              ally  ASCII  or  binary.  With an argument, change the type: the
              types `A' or `ASCII' for ASCII data and `B' or `BINARY', `I'  or
              `IMAGE' for binary data are understood case-insensitively.

       zfstat [ -v ]
              Show  the  status  of the current or last connection, as well as
              the status of some of zftp's  status  variables.   With  the  -v
              option,  a  more  verbose  listing  is  produced by querying the
              server for its version of events, too.

   Retrieving files
       The commands for retrieving files all take at  least  two  options.  -G
       suppresses remote filename expansion which would otherwise be performed
       (see below for a more detailed description of that).   -t  attempts  to
       set the modification time of the local file to that of the remote file:
       see the description of the function zfrtime below for more information.

       zfget [ -Gtc ] file1 ...
              Retrieve all the listed files file1 ... one at a time  from  the
              remote  server.   If  a  file  contains  a `/', the full name is
              passed to the remote server, but  the  file  is  stored  locally
              under  the  name  given  by  the  part after the final `/'.  The
              option -c (cat) forces all files to be sent as a  single  stream
              to standard output; in this case the -t option has no effect.

       zfuget [ -Gvst ] file1 ...
              As  zfget,  but  only  retrieve  files  where the version on the
              remote server is newer (has a later modification time), or where
              the  local file does not exist.  If the remote file is older but
              the files have different sizes, or if the sizes are the same but
              the  remote  file  is  newer,  the user will usually be queried.
              With the option -s, the command runs silently  and  will  always
              retrieve the file in either of those two cases.  With the option
              -v, the command prints more information about the files while it
              is working out whether or not to transfer them.

       zfcget [ -Gt ] file1 ...
              As  zfget,  but if any of the local files exists, and is shorter
              than the corresponding remote file, the command assumes that  it
              is  the result of a partially completed transfer and attempts to
              transfer the rest of the file.  This is useful on a poor connec-
              tion which keeps failing.

              Note  that  this  requires a commonly implemented, but non-stan-
              dard, version of the FTP protocol, so is not guaranteed to  work
              on all servers.

       zfgcp [ -Gt ] remote-file local-file
       zfgcp [ -Gt ] rfile1 ... ldir
              This  retrieves  files  from  the  remote  server with arguments
              behaving similarly to the cp command.

              In the first form, copy remote-file from the server to the local
              file local-file.

              In  the  second  form, copy all the remote files rfile1 ... into
              the local directory ldir retaining  the  same  basenames.   This
              assumes UNIX directory semantics.

   Sending files
       zfput [ -r ] file1 ...
              Send  all  the  file1 ... given separately to the remote server.
              If a filename contains a `/', the full filename is used  locally
              to  find  the file, but only the basename is used for the remote
              file name.

              With the option -r, if any of the files are directories they are
              sent  recursively with all their subdirectories, including files
              beginning with `.'.   This  requires  that  the  remote  machine
              understand UNIX file semantics, since `/' is used as a directory

       zfuput [ -vs ] file1 ...
              As zfput, but only send files which are newer than their  remote
              equivalents, or if the remote file does not exist.  The logic is
              the same as for zfuget, but reversed between  local  and  remote

       zfcput file1 ...
              As  zfput,  but if any remote file already exists and is shorter
              than the local equivalent, assume it is the result of an  incom-
              plete  transfer  and  send the rest of the file to append to the
              existing part.  As the FTP append command is part of  the  stan-
              dard set, this is in principle more likely to work than zfcget.

       zfpcp local-file remote-file
       zfpcp lfile1 ... rdir
              This  sends  files  to the remote server with arguments behaving
              similarly to the cp command.

              With  two  arguments,  copy  local-file   to   the   server   as

              With  more  than  two arguments, copy all the local files lfile1
              ... into the existing remote directory rdir retaining  the  same
              basenames.  This assumes UNIX directory semantics.

              A  problem  arises if you attempt to use zfpcp lfile1 rdir, i.e.
              the second form of copying but with two arguments, as  the  com-
              mand  has  no  simple  way  of  knowing if rdir corresponds to a
              directory or a filename.  It attempts to resolve this in various
              ways.   First,  if the rdir argument is `.' or `..' or ends in a
              slash, it is assumed to be a directory.  Secondly, if the opera-
              tion  of  copying to a remote file in the first form failed, and
              the remote server sends back the expected failure code 553 and a
              reply  including  the  string  `Is a directory', then zfpcp will
              retry using the second form.

   Closing the connection
              Close the connection.

   Session management
       zfsession [ -lvod ] [ sessname ]
              Allows you to manage multiple FTP sessions at once.  By default,
              connections  take place in a session called `default'; by giving
              the command `zfsession sessname' you can  change  to  a  new  or
              existing  session  with  a name of your choice.  The new session
              remembers its own connection, as well as associated shell param-
              eters, and also the host/user parameters set by zfparams.  Hence
              you can have different sessions set up to connect  to  different
              hosts, each remembering the appropriate host, user and password.

              With no arguments, zfsession prints the name of the current ses-
              sion; with the option -l it lists all sessions  which  currently
              exist,  and  with  the option -v it gives a verbose list showing
              the host and directory for each session, where the current  ses-
              sion is marked with an asterisk.  With -o, it will switch to the
              most recent previous session.

              With -d, the given session (or else the current one) is removed;
              everything to do with it is completely forgotten.  If it was the
              only session, a new session called `default' is created and made
              current.   It  is safest not to delete sessions while background
              commands using zftp are active.

       zftransfer sess1:file1 sess2:file2
              Transfer files between two sessions; no local copy is made.  The
              file is read from the session sess1 as file1 and written to ses-
              sion sess2 as file file2; file1 and file2 may be relative to the
              current  directories  of the session.  Either sess1 or sess2 may
              be omitted (though the colon should be retained if  there  is  a
              possibility  of a colon appearing in the file name) and defaults
              to the current session; file2 may be omitted or may end  with  a
              slash,  in  which case the basename of file1 will be added.  The
              sessions sess1 and sess2 must be distinct.

              The operation is performed using pipes, so it is  required  that
              the  connections  still be valid in a subshell, which is not the
              case under versions of some operating systems, presumably due to
              a system bug.

       The two functions zfmark and zfgoto allow you to `bookmark' the present
       location (host, user and directory) of the current FTP  connection  for
       later use.  The file to be used for storing and retrieving bookmarks is
       given by the parameter $ZFTP_BMFILE; if not set when  one  of  the  two
       functions  is  called,  it  will  be  set to the file .zfbkmarks in the
       directory where your zsh startup files live (usually ~).

       zfmark [ bookmark ]
              If given an argument, mark the current host, user and  directory
              under the name bookmark for later use by zfgoto.  If there is no
              connection open, use the values for the last connection  immedi-
              ately  before  it  was closed; it is an error if there was none.
              Any existing bookmark under  the  same  name  will  be  silently

              If  not  given  an argument, list the existing bookmarks and the
              points to which they refer in the form user@host:directory; this
              is  the  format  in  which  they are stored, and the file may be
              edited directly.

       zfgoto [ -n ] bookmark
              Return to the location given by bookmark, as previously  set  by
              zfmark.  If the location has user `ftp' or `anonymous', open the
              connection with zfanon, so that no password is required.  If the
              user and host parameters match those stored for the current ses-
              sion, if any, those will be  used,  and  again  no  password  is
              required.  Otherwise a password will be prompted for.

              With  the  option  -n,  the  bookmark  is taken to be a nickname
              stored by the ncftp program  in  its  bookmark  file,  which  is
              assumed  to  be  ~/.ncftp/bookmarks.  The function works identi-
              cally in other ways.  Note that there is no mechanism for adding
              or modifying ncftp bookmarks from the zftp functions.

   Other functions
       Mostly,  these  functions  will  not  be  called  directly  (apart from
       zfinit), but are described here for  completeness.   You  may  wish  to
       alter zftp_chpwd and zftp_progress, in particular.

       zfinit [ -n ]
              As described above, this is used to initialize the zftp function
              system.  The -n option should be used if  the  zftp  command  is
              already built into the shell.

       zfautocheck [ -dn ]
              This  function is called to implement automatic reopening behav-
              iour, as described in  more  detail  below.   The  options  must
              appear  in  the  first  argument;  -n  prevents the command from
              changing to the old directory, while -d prevents it from setting
              the  variable  do_close,  which  it otherwise does as a flag for
              automatically closing the connection after a transfer.  The host
              and  directory  for  the last session are stored in the variable
              $zflastsession, but the internal  host/user/password  parameters
              must also be correctly set.

       zfcd_match prefix suffix
              This performs matching for completion of remote directory names.
              If the remote server is UNIX, it will attempt  to  persuade  the
              server  to list the remote directory with subdirectories marked,
              which usually works but is not guaranteed.  On  other  hosts  it
              simply calls zfget_match and hence completes all files, not just
              directories.  On some systems, directories  may  not  even  look
              like filenames.

       zfget_match prefix suffix
              This  performs  matching for completion of remote filenames.  It
              caches files for the  current  directory  (only)  in  the  shell
              parameter  $zftp_fcache.   It is in the form to be called by the
              -K option of compctl, but also works when  called  from  a  wid-
              get-style  completion function with prefix and suffix set appro-

       zfrglob varname
              Perform remote globbing, as  describes  in  more  detail  below.
              varname  is  the name of a variable containing the pattern to be
              expanded; if there were any matches, the same variable  will  be
              set to the expanded set of filenames on return.

       zfrtime lfile rfile [ time ]
              Set  the  local file lfile to have the same modification time as
              the remote file rfile, or the explicit time time in  FTP  format
              CCYYMMDDhhmmSS  for  the  GMT  timezone.   This uses the shell's
              zsh/datetime module to perform the conversion from GMT to  local

              This  function  is  called every time a connection is opened, or
              closed, or the remote directory changes.   This  version  alters
              the  title bar of an xterm-compatible or sun-cmd terminal emula-
              tor to reflect the local and remote hostnames and current direc-
              tories.   It  works  best when combined with the function chpwd.
              In particular, a function of the form

                     chpwd() {
                       if [[ -n $ZFTP_USER ]]; then
                         # usual chpwd e.g put host:directory in title bar

              fits in well.

              This function shows the status of the  transfer.   It  will  not
              write  anything  unless  the output is going to a terminal; how-
              ever, if you transfer files in the background, you  should  turn
              off  progress  reports  by hand using `zstyle ':zftp:*' progress
              none'.  Note also that if you alter it, any output  must  be  to
              standard error, as standard output may be a file being received.
              The form of the progress meter, or whether it is  used  at  all,
              can be configured without altering the function, as described in
              the next section.

              This is used to implement caching of files in the current direc-
              tory for each session separately.  It is used by zfget_match and

       Various styles are available using the standard shell style  mechanism,
       described  in  zshmodules(1).  Briefly,  the  command `zstyle ':zftp:*'
       style value ...'.  defines the style to have value value; more than one
       value  may be given, although that is not useful in the cases described
       here.  These values will then be used throughout the zftp function sys-
       tem.   For more precise control, the first argument, which gives a con-
       text in which the style applies, can be modified to include a  particu-
       lar  function,  as  for example `:zftp:zfget': the style will then have
       the given value only in the zfget function.  Values for the same  style
       in  different  contexts  may be set; the most specific function will be
       used, where strings are held to be more  specific  than  patterns,  and
       longer  patterns  and  shorter  patterns.  Note that only the top level
       function name, as called by the user, is used; calling of  lower  level
       functions is transparent to the user.  Hence modifications to the title
       bar in zftp_chpwd use  the  contexts  :zftp:zfopen,  :zftp:zfcd,  etc.,
       depending  where  it  was called from.  The following styles are under-

              Controls the way that zftp_progress reports on the progress of a
              transfer.   If  empty,  unset,  or `none', no progress report is
              made; if `bar' a growing bar of inverse video is shown; if `per-
              cent'  (or  any other string, though this may change in future),
              the percentage of the file transferred is shown.  The bar  meter
              requires  that  the  width  of the terminal be available via the
              $COLUMNS parameter (normally this is set automatically).  If the
              size  of  the  file  being transferred is not available, bar and
              percent meters will simply show the number of bytes  transferred
              so far.

              When zfinit is run, if this style is not defined for the context
              :zftp:*, it will be set to `bar'.

       update Specifies the minimum  time  interval  between  updates  of  the
              progress  meter  in  seconds.  No update is made unless new data
              has been received, so the actual time interval is  limited  only
              by $ZFTP_TIMEOUT.

              As  described for progress, zfinit will force this to default to

              If set to `1', `yes' or `true', filename  generation  (globbing)
              is performed on the remote machine instead of by zsh itself; see

              If set to `1', `yes' or `true', zftp_chpwd will put  the  remote
              host  and  remote directory into the titlebar of terminal emula-
              tors such as xterm or sun-cmd that allow this.

              As described for progress, zfinit will force this to default  to

       chpwd  If set to `1' `yes' or `true', zftp_chpwd will call the function
              chpwd when a connection is closed.  This is useful if the remote
              host  details were put into the terminal title bar by zftp_chpwd
              and your usual chpwd also modifies the title bar.

              When zfinit is run, it will determine whether chpwd  exists  and
              if  so  it will set the default value for the style to 1 if none
              exists already.

       Note that there is also an associative array  zfconfig  which  contains
       values  used  by  the  function system.  This should not be modified or

   Remote globbing
       The commands for retrieving files usually perform  filename  generation
       (globbing)  on  their  arguments; this can be turned off by passing the
       option -G to each of the commands.  Normally this operates by  retriev-
       ing a complete list of files for the directory in question, then match-
       ing these locally against the pattern supplied.  This has the advantage
       that  the  full  range  of  zsh patterns (respecting the setting of the
       option EXTENDED_GLOB) can be used.  However, it means that  the  direc-
       tory part of a filename will not be expanded and must be given exactly.
       If the remote server does not support  the  UNIX  directory  semantics,
       directory  handling  is problematic and it is recommended that globbing
       only be used within the current directory.  The list of  files  in  the
       current  directory,  if  retrieved,  will be cached, so that subsequent
       globs in the same  directory  without  an  intervening  zfcd  are  much

       If  the  remote-glob style (see above) is set, globbing is instead per-
       formed on the remote host: the server is asked for a list  of  matching
       files.   This  is  highly  dependent  on how the server is implemented,
       though typically UNIX servers will provide support for basic glob  pat-
       terns.   This  may in some cases be faster, as it avoids retrieving the
       entire list of directory contents.

   Automatic and temporary reopening
       As described for the zfopen command, a subsequent zfopen with no param-
       eters  will  reopen the connection to the last host (this includes con-
       nections made with the zfanon command).  Opened in  this  fashion,  the
       connection  starts in the default remote directory and will remain open
       until explicitly closed.

       Automatic re-opening is also available.  If a connection  is  not  cur-
       rently  open  and  a  command requiring a connection is given, the last
       connection is implicitly reopened.  In this case  the  directory  which
       was  current  when  the connection was closed again becomes the current
       directory (unless, of course, the command given changes it).  Automatic
       reopening  will  also  take  place  if  the connection was close by the
       remote server for whatever reason (e.g. a timeout).  It is  not  avail-
       able if the -1 option to zfopen or zfanon was used.

       Furthermore,  if  the command issued is a file transfer, the connection
       will be closed after  the  transfer  is  finished,  hence  providing  a
       one-shot mode for transfers.  This does not apply to directory changing
       or listing commands; for example a zfdir may reopen  a  connection  but
       will  leave  it open.  Also, automatic closure will only ever happen in
       the same command as automatic opening, i.e a zfdir directly followed by
       a zfget will never close the connection automatically.

       Information  about the previous connection is given by the zfstat func-
       tion.  So, for example, if that reports:

              Session:        default
              Not connected.
              Last session:   ftp.bar.com:/pub/textfiles

       then the command zfget file.txt will attempt to reopen a connection  to
       ftp.bar.com, retrieve the file /pub/textfiles/file.txt, and immediately
       close the connection again.  On the other hand, zfcd ..  will open  the
       connection in the directory /pub and leave it open.

       Note  that  all  the above is local to each session; if you return to a
       previous session, the connection for that session is the one which will
       be reopened.

       Completion  of  local and remote files, directories, sessions and book-
       marks is supported.  The older,  compctl-style  completion  is  defined
       when zfinit is called; support for the new widget-based completion sys-
       tem is provided in  the  function  Completion/Zsh/Command/_zftp,  which
       should  be  installed with the other functions of the completion system
       and hence should automatically be available.

       See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | shell/zsh        |
       |Stability      | Volatile         |
       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://java.net/projects/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source     was      downloaded      from       http://downloads.source-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.zsh.org/.

zsh 5.3.1                      December 21, 2016                 ZSHZFTPSYS(1)